Thing to watch for at Dallas Mavericks open practice: 2. KP’s role
Kristaps Porzingis struggled against the LA Clippers in the playoffs last season as his role shrunk. The Unicorn became a spot-up shooter and failed to protect the rim as the Mavs were ousted in the first round for the second straight year.
Porzingis is excited heading into the new season as coach Kidd has him playing a new role. KP will be a more featured part of the offense and have the freedom to attack in the mid-range. Carlisle wanted the Unicorn to stretch the floor, and it helped him improve his efficiency. How much of Carlisle’s philosophy will stick under Kidd? Blending the All-Star version from New York with the Unicorn fans have seen in Dallas could lead to a career-year from the 26-year-old.
KP is going to play the four next to Dwight Powell in the starting lineup in the team’s first preseason game. It will be interesting to see how those two split the defensive responsibilities, but fans may not get a chance to see on Sunday if they are not on the same team.
Fans will get their first glimpse of how Porzingis’ role has changed on Sunday afternoon. Will he get more opportunities to post up? Do the Mavericks run more possessions through him than last season? How will KP look on the defensive end of the floor after struggling mightily a year ago? Fans will get some first glimpse answers to those questions at the Fan Jam.